West Valley City PD: Suspect killed in Taylorsville police shootout had violent criminal history

First responders on the scene of a Wednesday night, Dec. 1, 2021, shooting that wounded two police officers, one of them from West Valley City, the other from Unified Police. A suspect in the shooting was fatally wounded. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, Dec. 2, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A suspect with a lengthy criminal history who was killed in a Taylorsville shootout with police has now been identified.

The suspect, identified as Anei Gabriel Joker, 20, was taken to an area hospital, but did not survive, according to a statement early Thursday morning by the West Valley City Police Department.

Joker was fatally wounded after allegedly shooting and wounding two police officers Wednesday night, one from West Valley City PD, and another from Unified Police.

“The suspect in this case was a wanted party, for various violent felonies,” WVC Police Chief Colleen Jacobs said in a press conference Thursday morning. “The detectives involved in this incident were specifically looking for this individual. They were able to locate him at the 7-Eleven at 4100 South and Redwood.”

At some point, it was discovered there was an infant inside the vehicle Jacobs confirmed. The child’s parents were also in the vehicle, police said.

Anei Gabriel Joker, 20, sits in the front seat of his vehicle moments before a shootout with police officers outside a 7-11 at 4100 S. Redwood Rd. in Taylorsville, Thursday Dec. 2, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

“I can tell you that procedurally, that would change their tactics drastically,” Jacobs said. “Negotiations started between the officers and the suspect in an attempt to get him to release the baby from the vehicle. What I can tell you is that negotiations took place for a period of time. Eventually he agreed to allow the officers to retrieve the baby from the vehicle.”

The baby is approximately 9 months old, Jacobs said. She added that it is her understanding that there were other people in the suspect vehicle and two of the other people inside the vehicle are the parents of the child.

 

“Once the baby was safe from harm’s way, negotiations continued with the suspect,” she added. “At some point, as you can see from the video that’s been aired, pepper balls were projected into the vehicle in an attempt to encourage the suspect to come out. After a period of time, he did come out of the vehicle, firing a weapon.”

He struck a West Valley City officer and Unified Police officer; several other officers returned fire, striking the suspect, police said.
Both the suspect and the two officers were taken to nearby hospitals.

The suspect died during the night.

The West Valley City Police officer is currently stable after initially being declared in critical condition. The Unified Police officer was initially in serious condition and has now been discharged from hospital.

“Update on our officer who was injured in the OICI in Taylorsville last night,” UPD said Thursday morning. “He was treated and released last night. He is home resting. Our WVCPD brother is recovering and our thoughts are with him at this time.”

Jacobs added: “Last night after this occurred, I went to the hospital to be with my officer and I was very relieved to see that he was talking, and he was joking, and it was a great relief to know that he was going to be OK.” He was shot in the left shoulder and the left leg, and underwent surgery. He has served for almost six years with West Valley Police and is currently serving as a detective. “He should be able to recover at home pretty soon,” Jacobs said.

She added that the officers will be offered mental health counseling following the incident. “It is at the forefront of our concern as far as their healing process, both physically and mentally” she said.

It was previously reported the incident occurred in West Valley City; it did in fact occur in Taylorsville, on the border with WVC.

The incident will be investigated by an external agency who was not involved in the incident, as is protocol in an office-involved shooting.

Joker’s Criminal History

  •  Aug. 12, 2021: Fugitive from justice warrant issued
  • In Jan. 17, 2021 case: charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony amended to second (guilty); and aggravated assault, a third-degree felony (dismissed with prejudice).
  • In Oct. 29, 2020 case: Third-degree felony discharge of a firearm, amended to class A misdemeanor (guilty).
  • In April 26, 2020 case: Failure to stop at command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor (guilty); giving false personal identity to peace officer, a class C misdemeanor (dismissed with prejudice).
  • In Feb. 9, 2020 case: Failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony, speeding, an infraction, no valid license (never obtained), (all dismissed with prejudice).
  • In March 19,2020 case: Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony (guilty).
  • In March 14, 2020 case: Aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony (dismissed without prejudice).

An apology letter Joker sent to a judge can be viewed below.

Anei Gabriel Joker submitted this handwritten apology letter to a judge. Source: Online court records

Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information is made available.

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